Why Is Shower Faucet Hard To Turn?

Many people complain that they cannot turn on the shower faucet because of their overtightening. However, the water cannot come out when you cannot turn these fixtures because these control water movement from plumbing pumps.

Why Is Shower Faucet Hard To Turn? Shower faucet is hard to turn due to a broken cartridge, poorly lubricated ring, worn-out brass and plastic ball, faulty installation, mineral deposits, and old gaskets. Moreover, the issue comes from the hardening of the O-ring, non-frequent use and dirt, and poor cleaning.

It is better to call the expert plumber when you cannot turn them because hard pulling can damage them completely. It is also annoying for people when they turn the faucet for showering, but it is challenging to deal with them.

Causes Solutions
The broken and old cartridge Replace cartridge
Poorly lubricated rings Use vegetable oil for lubrication
Worn-out brass or plastic balls Replace plastic or brass balls
Faulty installation Call expert plumbers for faucet installation
Calcium and mineral deposits Add water softeners for removing minerals
Internal corrosion Ensure tank water is not dirty
Hardening of O-ring Turn off water supply and replace the O-ring
The faucet is not in use Lubricate O-ring after 2 to 3 weeks
Dirt and poor cleaning Frequent cleaning with white vinegar

Broken and old cartridge

The cartridge is the plastic item present in faucets to control water flow. Sometimes you cannot turn them for a water supply because of cracked and broken cartridges.

The cracking restricts the smooth movement of the handle and makes its movement difficult. As a result, cracking and breaking are more prominent in old fixtures.

The issue comes when you do not replace them for longer. Frequent daily use for a long time can also increase the risk of cracking.

You can even move them by applying slight pressure with your finger if the cartridge is in good condition. Replace the cartridge by removing the shower control knob and temperature knob.

Loose the screws and take the metal plate out, and you can see two supply valves for hot and cold water. Turn off the water and remove the old cartridges, and add new ones.

Poorly lubricated rings

O-rings are made of rubber and act as the sealing material to keep the handle in its place. Moreover, these also control the water flow and prevent their dripping.

It is necessary to lubricate the ring for its proper functioning. For example, you can hear the squeaking sound when you turn the faucets for showering.

The dry and poorly lubricated rings produce weird sounds. In addition, you cannot rotate the handle because of the increased friction of the rubber seals.

Silicone lubricant grease is good for their lubrication because it is waterproof material. It is essential to grease them to decrease abrasion, uneven sounds, and cracking issues.

You can also use vegetable oil for their lubrication.

Worn-out brass or plastic balls

Some types of faucets contain brass or plastic balls to turn them on and off instead of cartridges. These balls act as valves and control the water supply.

These fixtures look different from the normal ones because of the presence of balls. In addition, it contains the handle, and their movement in different direction allow water flow.

These balls are made of plastic material for water control. The brass and plastic balls can wear out when they age or are used daily.

The worn-out brass and plastic balls also expose their springs and nuts, making them faulty. Therefore, it is better to call the serviceman to inspect defective components.

Replace the old and worn-out brass balls with new ones. Purchase the new ones by matching their size, material, and brand with the old ones.

Faulty installation

Many people complain that they face water flow issues after installing new shower faucets in their bathrooms.

The problem ranges from no water to the mist spraying water from the nozzles of the fixtures. The issue comes when you do not install them correctly, and these are hard to turn.

The faulty installation of cartridges and O-rings can cause make them challenging to rotate to turn on and off the water supply. The problem also comes when you forget to lubricate the O-ring during installation.

It is better to call a plumbing expert to install fixtures in your home because dealing with the plumbing system is a complex procedure.

Calcium and mineral deposits

The calcium and mineral deposits on the cartridges increase the friction between the moving parts of the faucets and block them completely.

These are hard to turn when calcium and other minerals present in water leave the dried residues there. You can see small white particles on the sides of the cartridges after removing the shower control knob.

The limescale buildup can also clog them and affect their smooth movement. The problem is common in areas containing water with a high mineral and limescale content.

You can face this when you are living near oceans and sea areas. It is better to add water softeners to reduce mineral and limescale deposits.

It removes the limescale and minerals from the water before their reach the shower faucet.

Internal corrosion

The internal corrosion on shower faucets is usually not visible, and many people do not know about them. The rust can build on the interior surface and increase the friction of their moving parts.

You can feel difficulty turning them because of their corroded parts that cause obstructions. Corrosion on the inner side of fixtures comes from dirty water.

The contaminated water mixed with sediments can attack the metal parts and allow the oxidation reaction there. In addition, the issue comes from the hard water in your water tank that moves into the fixtures and corrodes them.

Moreover, many people use abrasive cleaners to clean the faucets, and these can also seep into the inner side and cause a problem.

Check the water in the tank and ensure it is not dirty and contaminated. It is also better to use home-based cleaners to degrease them instead of commercial ones.

Hardening of O-ring

O-rings are made of plastic material, and their hardening is common, which can also lead to cracking issues. The hardening can occur when you use warm water for showering.

Long-term exposure to high temperatures can cause plasticizers to come off from these items, making them brittle and easily breakable.

The hardening of this plastic material also occurs due to its age and frequent exposure to air. Therefore, it is better to replace the O-ring of the shower faucet for smooth movement.

The faucet is not in use

Many people complain that the guest bathroom shower faucets are hard to turn. It is irritating and panicking for guests when they do not rotate them on for showering.

Sometimes you can hear water dripping from the guest rooms because of their incorrect closing and leakage from the fixture’s nozzle.

These become hard to open and close because of their non-frequent use. In addition, the tightening and drying of O-rings and cartridges cause the problem.

It is necessary to lubricate the O-ring afterward so guests cannot feel any difficulty opening them.

Dirt and poor cleaning

Shower faucets can get stuck, making it hard to move them because of poor cleaning and maintenance. In addition, the dirt and grime residues accumulate on their side and obstruct their smooth movement. This can also turn your shower head black.

The moisture from the hard water can also cause their blockage. Moreover, the steam comes on the sides of the fixture when you use hot water for showers and in bathtubs.

The steam leaves the dried mineral residues behind, which are essential to clean. It is necessary to clean the faucets after 2 to 3 days to remove the grimy soap scum and limescale residues.

You can spray these with vinegar solution and leave for 5 to 10 minutes. Take the baby wipes and remove the vinegar solution with these damp tissues.

Related Articles:

Why is My Shower Head Pressure Low?